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MAKE FILMS Enjoys Complete Freedom and Control with Wooden Camera

 Camera/DP Aaron Dienner with his handheld RED Epic setup.

When the project calls for filming multiple shots in a short time, there’s no better solution than going handheld. The challenge of this is building a rig sturdy enough to handle all of the camera essentials while maintaining a small and lightweight form factor for maneuverability.

But you don’t need to tell that to Derek Dienner and his company, MAKE films. A renowned production house in Pennsylvania, MAKE films specializes in creating cinematic and commercial films that tell stories for their clients. From creative to post, these guys are the whole package. 

For a recent project with client EBY of Lancaster, PA, the shoot required Dienner and his crew to capture various parts of their new manufacturing warehouse as well as outside footage with talent in various scenes. 

“They wanted the commercial to tell the EBY story. That they’re a 3rd-generation American company which embraces the passions of their customers,” explained Dienner, Director of the shoot. “We needed to capture as many beauty shots as we could, but the hard part was doing it all with little time on our hands.”


 RED Epic with Wooden Camera cage and NATO handle.

For MAKE films, being lightweight and versatile was critical to getting the shots they and EBY wanted. Luckily, they found all of the essentials at Wooden Camera.

Shooting on their RED Epic Dragon, Dienner’s crew equipped the Epic with 2x Side Plates (Right Front & Right Rear), Easy Top XEasy Riser and LW 15mm Bracket. The Side Plates & Easy Top X provided multiple ¼-20” and ⅜-16” mounting points, while the Easy Riser bottom plate positioned the camera to the proper height for rod support. The LW 15mm Bracket was equipped to provide rod support for shoots that required follow focus and matte box. 

On the rear Side Plate, the DP mounted a Wooden Camera NATO Handle Plus. The NATO Handle is a quick-release handle that slides onto a NATO safety rail without screws for simple attaching & detaching. It also comes with multiple built-in hot-shoe ¼-20” and ⅜-16” mounting points for additional attachments as well. 


Director Dienner and client monitoring on iPad with Teradek Serv Pro.

With the camera cages set up, MAKE films could now mount their other accessories. In order to go handheld though, the crew decided to mount just two units to the camera.

On the Easy Top X, the crew mounted a RED Touch 7.0” LCD monitor which allowed the camera op to see a detailed image of the shot. The ¼-20” mounting points on the cheese plate were designed specifically with the proprietary monitor in mind.

To the back of the Easy Top was the Teradek Serv Pro (blue). The Serv Pro is a wireless monitoring unit that connects to the camera via SDI and transmits camera feeds to iPhones & iPads on set. With the companion app, VUER, crew members (including clients) on set were able to monitor the shot on their own iOS devices, keeping them away from having to follow the camera around and letting the camera op be truly mobile. 


 Lightweight and versatile, the Easy Top X and Side Plates allow camera ops to maneuver freely & quickly on set.

For the run-and-gun shooting that MAKE films orchestrated for the project, having Wooden Camera gear was critical for them to stay lightweight. The plethora of mounting options allowed the camera op to customize the position of the accessories so he can configure the setup according to each take.

“We love how the NATO Handle can switch between the top and sides so easily,” said Dienner. “When you’re doing fast setups and run-and-gun shoots, being able to switch around quickly is a huge bonus.”

Furthermore, the small form factor and lightweight feature of the Epic cage allowed the camera op to move seamlessly throughout the set without straining his body. After 12-hour shoot schedules back-to-back, this was essential to shooting comfortably and safely, and translated into capturing the incredible shots that define MAKE film’s signature style, producing a compelling commercial both they and EBY were proud of. 

“Whether it’s handheld, tripod or gimbal, having full control over the camera makes it easier for the DP to find that perfect angle and perfect shot. Considering how often our shoots require handheld setups these days, Wooden Camera’s lightweight yet sturdy camera gear allows our DP to achieve that shot and help us deliver the quality of work that our clients have come to love.”


With the reliable and sturdy modular components that Wooden Camera designs are known for, MAKE films can use this base to customize their camera system for any of their future clients’ needs. 

Shop Gear in this Article:

Easy Riser

A riser shim plate for RED Epic, Scarlet, & Dragon.  Two sets of mounting holes allow camera to be positioned toward the front of baseplate.




Easy Top X

A top plate for RED Epic, Scarlet, and Dragon cameras. Arrays of 1/4-20 holes in RED spacing. Multiple 3/8-16 holes for large accessories.




NATO Handle Plus

A Quick release, multi-funtion top handle with a tool-less design and ratcheting 360° rotating grip with integrated shoe mount.



Side Plate (Right Front)

A top plate for RED Epic, Scarlet, and Dragon cameras. Arrays of 1/4-20 holes in RED spacing. Multiple 3/8-16 holes for large accessories.



Side Plate (Right Rear)

Attaches to Easy Top X and Easy Riser to expand mounting surface for accessories. Arrays of 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 holes in RED standard spacing.



LW 15mm Bracket

A 15mm rod support bracket that when combined with Easy Riser hold lightweight 15mm rods at the correct lens height.



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